Last.fm Shuts Down Its Streaming Service To Focus On Scrobbling

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Music discovery company Last.fm just announced that it will end its subscription radio streaming service on April 28th.

The radio service is currently available in the U.K., the U.S. and Germany with a freemium model. For $3/€3/£3, users can access Last.fm radio on their phones and get an ad-free experience. The streaming service is also available in Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil, but without the free ad-supported membership. Paid users can request a refund.

After closing down the service, the company will focus on its core product, the scrobbling experience — scrobbling being sending the name of the song to Last.fm in order to build a music profile. In the early days of the startup, you had to install a plugin on your computer. Now, you just have to enter your Last.fm username in the Spotify settings, Sonos, Squeezebox and more. Last.fm released the Scrobbler app for iOS.

Last.fm will remain a music recommendation service, but it will rely on third-party services. For example, you can launch a Last.fm radio using the YouTube-powered player or the Spotify app — but the future of Spotify apps seems compromised as well.

In 2007, Last.fm was acquired by CBS for $280 million. Ever since the acquisition, the music service has slowly faded away from mainstream adoption. Instead, competing radio services like Pandora took off, and new unlimited streaming services like Spotify became more popular.

Photo credit: Tim Geers under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license